TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 02, 2011 0 comments

In the late 1990s, a product manager from Zenith brought me the company's first HDTV set for review. After an afternoon spent checking out the TV - an engineering marvel for its time - I told him how impressed I was with it. "Yeah, we'd sell a ton of them if it said 'Sony' on the front," he wisecracked.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 12, 2013 0 comments

"The book is not a direct influence. That is to say that it did not spur me on to write any sort of song cycle or (gasp!) concept album. Rather, I found myself writing a lot of songs with a sense of a specific space, my hometown of Huntington, Long Island, New York."

So explains Bill Janovitz and about his new album, Walt Whitman Mall, and it seems as apt a description as I can think of.

Oh, and it's also really good. He didn't say that part (obviously).

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 02, 2012 0 comments

The ability of a display to upconvert standard definition content (like a DVD, or many cable/satellite channels) was once a key component of its overall performance.

But now, most TVs do a reasonable job, and more important, I don’t think most people actually have any SD content.

Should we bother to continue testing it?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 23, 2011 0 comments

I don't understand some people. Ok, a lot of people. Internet people, mostly. The type of people with the need to proselytize their views about meaningless crap.

You know, like what I do. Only, not paid.

These malcontents have a passion for posting vitriol wherever their sensibilities about good and bad companies/products/technologies are impugned.

To which I say, WTF?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 22, 2012 0 comments

To a surprising amount of excitement, Microsoft announced the a pair of new tablets this week. Web reactions to the new Surface — as you’d expect — were split down party lines: “It’s not an iPad! It’s stupid!” and “It’s not an iPad! It’s the second coming!”

Reality, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. It’s possible the Surface is a worthy iPad competitor something that, so far, we have not seen.

It all comes down to one, seemingly simple, thing...

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 29, 2012 0 comments

Fun. is something of a supergroup, in as much as each band member had been in other reasonably successful bands prior to this one.

Some Nights, their second album, finds the trio doing what they do best: Crafting anthemic rock songs with catchy melodies and excellent musicianship.

It's a fantastic album that above all else is a great bit of (n): something that provides mirth or amusement.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 08, 2011 0 comments

The "Bass Management Boot Camp" article about subwoofer setup that I wrote for the November S+V inspired an in-turn inspiring e-mail from reader Bruce Erwin. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.

That's with passive subwoofers, though. Almost all of today's subs have built-in amps, so this method wouldn't quite work with them. Still, it got me wondering if I could come up with a simpler phase check than the ones I suggested in the article, which required either measurement or careful listening. My e-mail convo with Bruce gave me some ideas and, ultimately, a method that's simpler than my original. And all you need to do it is a piece of free software and a meter you've either already got or can get for nothing.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 17, 2012 0 comments

As I said in Monday’s coverage of headphones and Wednesday’s coverage of speakers, Denver’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is the biggest, most exciting, and most important of the regional hi-fi shows that have sprung up all over the U.S. and Canada.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 13, 2012 0 comments

Never in the history of humankind has there been such a gathering of nerds, dweebs, freaks, geeks, dinks, dorks, techies, trekkies, wookiees, weirdos, waldos, and wonks like the event that is Comic-Con.

Clearly, these were my people.

Shockingly, this was my first time attending. Shockinglier, it will be my last.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments

The CEDIA Expo focuses on home theater sound, home automation, high-end video projection, and all sorts of toys for rich guys’ mansions. So I’m surprised to say that the first report I’m filing from the Expo is about headphones — a product that few custom installers even sell.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 23, 2013 0 comments

The CEA-2010 subwoofer output measurement lets us separate the great subwoofers from the merely good ones, in a way that’s more reliable and repeatable than traditional measurements or listening tests. However, it’s still not widely used.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 03, 2012 0 comments

It's that time of year again when those of us who review stuff, rank said stuff in some order that says what stuff is better than what other stuff.

This year, instead, I figured I'd do something slightly different. Not too different, I definitely have a Game of the Year in mind (more on that in a few days).

Instead of giving out awards for this and that, I thought I'd talk about some of my favorite gaming moments of the year, why they were special, and why the games that caused those moments are worth your dollar (or in some cases, just the time to download them).

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 23, 2012 0 comments

Think of tech products that are easy to use, and you’ll almost certainly think of Apple. But a new product called the Q2 Internet Radio makes the iPhone look as user-friendly as ENIAC.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 22, 2011 0 comments

Call me purist. Call me curmudgeon.

For most, the terms "video game" and "computer game" are interchangeable. I disagree, and my complaint is more than just semantics.

You see, the difference is a simple one: video games are dumb.

That in itself isn't a bad thing. The problem is, they're making computer games dumber as well.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 07, 2013 0 comments

 

I'm not sure what to make of the Viewsonic VSD220. I like it. It works as you'd hope, looks quite nice, and is priced well.

But it is definitely a niche product. If you can spot a place in your life for this niche, then I think it's definitely worth checking out.

What is it? Well, you can think of it as a 22-inch Android tablet, with HDMI and USB inputs. Or, you can think of it as a small Smart TV with Android OS.

Got ideas yet? I do.

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